Patience {An Untimely Post}

“If I have not the patience of my Saviour 
with the souls who grow slowly; 
if I know little of travail (a sharp and painful thing) 
till Christ be fully formed in them, 
then I know nothing of Calvary love.” 
 ~ Amy Carmichael

Holding back tears again, I stare at the framed print on the wall.
 It shows two cherubs and the Love verses from Corinthians.
 Ugh. I am weak and weary. 
I feel sick. 
Jealousy and envy tag-team me, 
I double over, 
wincing as I imagine the lovely mother-daughter scenarios 
taking place everywhere else. 
Anywhere else. 
But here. 
I forget sweet memories and truth.
I hurt deep.
There seems to be no consolation. 
Just walls erected.
And one mom feeling defeated,
as her daughter reclines, throwing cheerios
across her bedroom.
Defiant rebellion.
Glorying in her seeming victory.
"I hate you", she smirks. 
The words fall to the floor as a 
Cheerio bounces off my chest.
Good times. 
I've already read enough words that should have me feeling all-powerful.
Quiet time, prayers, Scripture, wisdom, encouragement.
I shrink, and see the images again dance across the screen of my mind...
happy mothers, smiling, relishing their seemingly completely compliant children.
I remember her small. 
Still defiant.
Hands on hips in the yard, looking at the house next door.
She stares long and hard. Her back to me.
She is wearing only undies or is it a pull up?
The memory gets blurrier with the years.
She looks back and huffs these words: 
"I'm thinking about buying the house next door, so I don't have to live with you."
She is 4.
I ask God why He hates me.
Love is patient...
I am angry that this is the first line of 1 Corinthians 13. 
I find myself seething.
I take a walk to get out of the house. 
Dog walking is like my version of Cheers.
Free Psychotherapy. 
I step into a role where I am loved, cherished, outright idolized- 
let's face it those dogs worship me.
I am the giver of walks!
My neighbor, Kevin with his wife has raised two girls. 
Every time I walk by he shares a bit of wisdom.
Today I walk, and almost pass without conversation.
Not happening, God wants my ear.
We say hello.
We make some small talk. 
I am not a good hider.
I just don't do fake well.
He catches me, and somehow he is sharing wisdom again.
He says, "Ya know, I had two girls and it's not easy.
If I had to give advice I would say this: patience."
I cringe.
He says a few more things about choosing my battles, 
winning the war and we admire 
the beautiful, unfinished, carved table he is sanding.

I know wisdom when I hear it.
I know God loves me.

I am that table.

God is sanding me.
I am not enjoying it.
I am not sure how I am going to look at the end of this journey.
I am not feeling beautiful.

Kevin comments on the detail,
"I'm a stickler about the sanding."
He points out a mark on the leg. 
"It takes time, but it's worth it in the end."
The table is exquisite but will be a treasure when he is finally satisfied 
with his efforts and attention.

He sees the beauty yet to be revealed.

I know.

Lord, I know you are not finished with me yet. 
I know you love me with an everlasting love.
I know You love the daughter You have given me as well.
Help me to remain in your love, steadfast and true.
Forgive me my weakness, failure and sin.
Make me beautiful in your eyes.

In Jesus name. Amen.

“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. 
That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, 
which is always the more convenient season. 
God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. 
He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, 
honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.” 
~ Matthew Henry

Beauty in His Grip Button


  1. I'm so sorry little mama. You already know this is a season that will not last forever and that the day of reward will come. It will. She will thank you someday. Unfortunately there is no idea when that day will come my friend.
    Hang on and listen to your good advice neighbor.

    1. Love and thanks, Susie. I know you understand. And thanks for the input! ;)

  2. What a blessing to have a friend like Kevin to speak truth into your life this way. Oh, yes...patience. How I long for more. So grateful for Gods patience with me :)

    1. Laura, sometimes it's not those closest to us God speaks to but those who we happen upon periodically! God ordained moments, I am convinced! :)

  3. Sanding, huh? Good to know what these long, painful years of mother/daughter conflict have been about. Doesn't make them any more fun, though. :/

    By the way, I get exactly what you mean there at the very beginning. When conflict is happening Satan has a "lovely" way of making all the other mother/daughter relationships around us seem perfect. I really hate Satan.

    1. Yes, Stacy the enemy has a way of catching us in our weak and vulnerable moments. But we know our God is faithful. Thanks for your heartfelt empathy, my friend!

  4. Thanks for sharing such an honest post, we don't like to admit when there is conflict in our lives, mother/daughter relationships are often one of greatest areas of conflict, your lovely neighbor is right, patience, hang on in there. The trick is not to let Satan have a field day with your thoughts.

    1. Thank you, Sharon- Yes, not letting the enemy have a field day with my thoughts is an excellent point!

  5. I was listening to a woman steeped in the Word interviewed on James Robison last night... I think her name is Angela Hunt. She was talking about how a time in her life when she was a single mom. Someone "lent" her a christian housekeeper who "taught" her to pray for her children. The woman would come to clean one day a week, and Angela would find her laying on each of her kids beds before making them, praying. The housekeeper said, "does this one have some troubles right now? His bed is messier than usual...and I've been praying for him here..." Angela said how this amazed her because the woman had been right, and how she had never thought of praying on her kids beds before. It was just so beautiful to hear of God's moving in those prayers of a simple woman of faith. I believe praying in your daughter's room when she isn't there, praying while she is sleeping, etc. is a way God will use mightily for healing of whatever is going on. Just lifting her up and praying God's word like Ephesians 1:17 -20 over her. Have you ever read Stormie O'martians books on praying for your children, wife, husband? I'm not married, but i have used these to pray intercession over others...all scripture based. I know God will use his word mightily when we pray them out. Bless you and your daughter Dawn. - Pam

    1. Hi Pam, God is faithful to lend us just the right person to speak wisdom at just the right moment in time, isn't he? I have read Stormie's books and do believe in the power of prayer. I have been blessed to be part of Mom's In Prayer (Touch) ministry for a number of years and am grateful for all I have seen, learned and experienced through this ministry. Scripture based prayer, walking by faith and not sight and encouraging others to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus during the storms helps me to do likewise! Thanks for your encouraging, thoughtful comments. ;)

  6. this is very honest.

    (that is a compliment.)

    i don't have any answers to offer you, friend, but i applaud you for the real and raw you have penned here.
    wounds don't heal in the dark, after all.

    1. Kelli, thanks for getting it! Authentic sharing is what I am committed to. Grace laced, but raw and honest. May we walk in the light, even when the darkness pursues us!

  7. Although I don't have any daughters, I have 3 sons...all grown now...and I wish I could say that we never have any conflicts anymore now that they are grown. But that would not be true. Patience is one of those virtues that we keep learning over and over again...but thankfully God doesn't give up on us...and therefore we should not give up on our kids...just keep praying, keep trusting God to complete what He has already begun in each of their lives...and in our own as well. And always, always find a way to say "I'm sorry", and "I love you" before you go to bed at night. No matter if the disagreement has not really been settled...find a way to let your child know you love them before you say goodnight. You will NEVER regret doing that...trust me, I know this to be true. Read my post from almost exactly one year ago today about my relationship with my son: http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2011/07/second-chance.html We just never know...and we need to always look for ways to "reconcile" the differences and trust God to handle the details. Love you, dear Sister in Christ. Saying a prayer for you and your precious daughter right now.

    1. Pam, you always encourage me by saying just the right thing! I almost did not follow this wisdom (before bed) and was sulking for awhile and felt God speaking to me just those words. Since I could not sleep (the conviction and nudges of the Holy Spirit would not allow it!) , I finally went into her room after midnight and said the words and to bed we went. I will check the post out- Thank you for prayers. A much better day and night we had after our bad one!

  8. Dawn; Your neighbor is very wise. Anything worthwhile takes time and work. Love IS patient; without it we would be a world of people always at one another's throats.

    1. I agree, Cecelia! Thanks for your words. ;)


walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)